A mother holds her newborn baby in the bomb shelter of a maternity hospital on March 2, 2022 in kyiv, Ukraine.
Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters
The World Health Organization on Thursday condemned Russia’s more than 100 attacks on healthcare facilities and transport vehicles, including ambulances, in Ukraine over the past six weeks, in violation of international humanitarian law.
Some 73 people have been killed and 51 injured, including health workers and patients, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“We are outraged that attacks on health care continue,” Tedros said at a joint news conference in Washington. DC with the United States Secretary of Health, Xavier Becerra, to commemorate World Health Day. Tedros called the 100-plus attacks a “grim milestone.”
“Peace is the only way forward,” Tedros said. “I again call on the Russian Federation to stop the war.”
Tedros’ comments come on the 42nd day of Russia’s invasion, which has killed and injured hundreds of civilians in Ukraine, including dozens of children.
He described the efforts of the WHO and the US to keep Ukraine’s “health system functioning”. This includes working with neighboring countries to support refugee access to care and delivering 180 metric tons of medical supplies to the worst-affected areas of Ukraine, with plans to deliver more.
The total number of attacks is more than double what the WHO verified three weeks ago.